State of the Farm is back this week to take a look at the last batch of prospects from MLB.com's Top-30 prospect list and how they're performing in 2016. As always, let me throw out the disclaimer that this list is not mine, so any and all complaints about the rankings should be forwarded to your nearest professional baseball stadium, who could eventually get you in touch with Rob Manfred, I'd imagine.
Alright, we all here? Good. Great. Grand. Lets get to it:
21. Jio Orozco – RHP – (R) AZL Mariners
Orozco has posted a subpar 4.42 FIP through 27.2 innings with the AZL Mariners this year, but there have been plenty of encouraging signs mixed in. He's currently running an 11.71 K/9 and has shown the advanced three-pitch combination that has scouts so high on him. Even more exciting, Orozco is still only 18 years old.
Trending: Same. He'll probably end up getting bumped up next year's list, especially if he gets the ball rolling in Arizona, but for now he stays put.
22. Dan Altavilla – RHP – (AA) Jackson Generals
Edwin Diaz getting the call and Emilio Pagan moving up to Tacoma has allowed Dan Altavilla to shine in his own way down in Jackson. There have been a couple bumps (3.92 BB/9), but Altavilla has been fantastic since making his long-awaited shift to the bullpen. His hard fastball and sharp, tailing slider have played up in the shorter stints, leading to a remarkable 10.45 K/9 over 41.1 IP this season. There were doubts regarding Altavilla's potential to make it as a MLB starter given his size (5'11, 200 lbs), but the shift to the 'pen has him looking at a very real shot to make the club at some point in 2017. In related news, Kate Preusser posted a terrific piece about him.
Trending: Up. Altavilla went from a starter with a lot of question marks to a potentially valuable bullpen arm in the near future.
23. Greifer Andrade – SS – (R) AZL Mariners
Andrade made his debut in the states in 2016, but so far has only managed to get in 14 at-bats in eight games between Everett and Arizona. Andrade was the No. 21 international prospect back in 2013 and hit .307/.369/.409 in the Dominican Summer League a year ago.
24. Jacob Brentz – LHP – (A-) Everett AquaSox
Brentz hasn't pitched much in 2016, making a couple appearances with the Rainiers before settling into a spot in the AquaSox rotation. During that time, he's struggled with command, issuing 23 walks and 4 HBP in 23.1 IP while posting a 6.15 FIP. The breaking ball has very real potential and the fastball should be perfectly fine. Will be interesting to see how the command issues play out over the course of the season.
Trending: Same. 23.2 innings don't really make or break a guy's career outlook.
25. Cody Mobley – RHP – (R) AZL Mariners
Mobley struggled through a single start with the AZL Mariners before disappearing into the ether. The 19-year-old had a nice run with the AZL Mariners in 2015, so I hope to see him back in action soon.
Trending: Same. Like hell I'm going to try to draw conclusions from 1.1 IP. For all I know he isn't pitching because he's trekking the Himalayas in search of the next great baseball pitch.
26. Paul Fry – LHP – (AAA) Tacoma Rainiers
A few months ago I was sure Fry would be either in the Mariners' bullpen or be the next man up by mid-July. In 25.0 IP with Jackson in 2015, Fry posted a 1.18 FIP while striking out 15.48 batters per 9 and appeared to be a dark horse candidate to make the bullpen out of spring. The walk-rate has surged, however, and Fry no longer looks like the kind of guy you feel comfortable handing the ball to in a tight situation. The strikeouts are still high and he still has a decent-enough fastball-slider combination, but, like Brentz, the command issues are worrisome.
Trending: Down. Fry just hasn't looked like the same guy in Tacoma this year and the organization is full of decent lefty relievers (Nuno, Montgomery, Furbush, Rollins, Horstman, Sitton, etc...)
27. Tyler Smith – INF – (AAA) Tacoma Rainiers
Smith has really picked it up the last few weeks after fading into darkness for awhile there. He still profiles as a potentially neat utility piece, but the 82 wRC+ against Triple-A pitching isn't what you want to see from a player who doesn't provide particularly great defense.
Trending: Same. Smith's recent hot streak, mixed with the fact that he's hit everywhere he's been in the system has me thinking he still has a shot at being a neat piece to have on the 25-man roster in the future.
28. Austin Wilson – OF – (A+) Bakersfield Blaze
Wilson has struggled for most of 2016, slashing .211/.336/.310 in his second go-round with the Blaze. It's surprising, considering Wilson dominated the California League for a few months last year and appeared to be destined for Jackson heading into Spring Training. The flashes of potential and the freakish combination of size and athleticism are still there, but the clock is ticking louder than ever for Wilson. There was a brief period of time where he started hitting again, but an injury knocked him out for a short time and he hasn't been able to pick up where he left off.
Trending: Down. I thought last year was a sign he shook all the Stanford out of him and was going to start mashing. An 87 wRC+ in the Cal League is a massive step back.
29. Rayder Ascanio – SS – (A) Clinton LumberKings
Ascanio has put up a .254/.336/.298 line in 373 PA with Clinton this year. He's a glove-first prospect and is only 20-years-old, so the 92 wRC+ isn't that devastating. Would you like to see more? Absolutely, but Ascanio is what he is: a light-hitting shortstop with a glove that could be silk one day.
Trending: Same. See above.
30. Kyle Wilcox – RHP – (A) Clinton LumberKings
I was higher than most on Wilcox heading into the year and in a lot of ways I still am, but 2016 has been a major step back for last year's sixth-round pick. Wilcox started out the year in the rotation, but severe command issues landed him in the bullpen fairly quickly. Even in short stints, the troubles have persisted. Wilcox still flashes a mid-90s fastball and an impressive breaking ball, but his inability to locate anything has greatly overshadowed the positives. It's never a good sign when your k-rate and walk-rate are equals (8.61).
Trending: Down. If Wilcox ever manages to put it all together he could be a very talented reliever, but the command issues are very concerning.